German Language

by Andrea Segura - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Vowels: may be long (usually when doubled or followed by h) or short

  • Short a – like ‘a’ in “hat”, or ‘u’ in “hut”
  • Long a – like ‘ah’ in “father” Short e – like ‘e’ in “let” or “bet” Long e – like ‘a’ in “state”
  • Short i – like ‘i’ in “hit”
  • Long i – like ‘i’ in “marine” or ‘ee’ in “see”
  • Short o – like ‘o’ in “hot” Long o – like ‘or’ in “torn” Short u – like ‘u’ in “put”
  • Long u – like ‘o’ in “who” or ‘oo’ in “pool”

Consonants

  • B – when followed by consonant, like ‘p’ in “tap”; otherwise like the ‘b’ in “boy”
  • Ch – when followed by a, o, u, or au, like ‘ch’ in Scottish “loch”; otherwise like ‘ish’.
  • D – when final or followed by a consonant, like ‘t’ in “cat”; otherwise like ‘d’ in “day”
  • F – like ‘f’ in “friend”
  • G – when final or followed by a consonant, like ‘k’; otherwise like English
  • H -as in English
  • J – like the ‘y’ in “yes”
  • I, M, N – as in English
  • NG – like he ‘ng’ in “sing”
  • P – as in English, even when followed by another consonant like ‘k’ + ‘v’
  • R – trilled as in Spanish
  • S – when initial letter or before a vowel, like ‘s’ in “rose”; when final word or before consonant, like ‘s’ in “sea”; when initial letter before ‘p’ or ‘t’, like ‘sh’ in “ship”
  • T, TH- as in English
  • V – like ‘f’ in “fear”
  • W – like ‘v’ in “vine”
  • X – like ‘x’ in “tax”
  • Z – like ‘ts’ in “hurts”

Diphthongs

  • EI, AI, EY, & AY – like ‘i’ in “mile” or “sigh”
  • AU – like ‘ow’ in “meow”
  • EU & AU – like ‘oi’ in “boil” or ‘oy’ in “boy”

Bicycling Specific Phrases

  • Bicycle: Fahrrad (say far-rod)
  • Flat tire: Loch im Rad (say Lohk im rod)
  • Water: Wasser (say vahsir)
  • I am on a bicycle tour: Ich mache eine Fahrradtour. (Say: Eek mahkeh ine far-rod- tour.)

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